It’s a new year, which means it’s time for a new routine. As the New Year kicks off, many of us try to prepare ourselves for a more successful year by creating (ideally) attainable resolutions. Mine include becoming more active and more organized, even though I wonder if anyone actually ever reaches organizational Nirvana. Here are five easy changes you can make to your cleaning routine to increase your green and your clean.
1. Get Composting and Recycling
The talk of the town is all about limiting the amount of garbage going into landfills. We are all being encouraged to recycle more, compost more, and waste less. To do your part, consider using larger recycling boxes and smaller garbage cans throughout your home to subliminally encourage everyone to think twice before tossing.
Place a recycling box beside every wastebasket, including in offices, bedrooms, and washrooms. Make them small and discreet so that you don’t affect the décor of the room. Wrap a shoebox in old linens to make an attractive and functional recycling box. This is a technique that is becoming more popular in green-friendly offices and homes. You can also try using a paper shredder for all documents, letters, and scrap paper at home, then add to the recycling box. Post a list of what is recyclable and what isn’t, so that all family members know what belongs where, when it’s time to get rid of it.
2. Buy Green Cleaning Supplies
Make sure that when you run out of conventional cleaning supplies, replace them with eco-friendly alternatives. Look for full disclosure of ingredients, research any additives you are unsure about, and look for products that are scent-free or scented with natural essential oils.
Look for vegetable-based products, not petroleum-based products, and consider making your own cleaning supplies. Reuse bottles from old products, making sure you rinse them well before doing so, and ensuring you label them clearly.
3. Upgrade Your Vacuum
If you plan to purchase a new vacuum this year, make sure it’s a HEPA filter vacuum, ideally one with cloth bags or a bagless canister to help reduce paper waste. A vacuum with a HEPA filter is your best bet for removing allergens, dust particles, pet dander, and other pesky microscopic bits from the environment, which will greatly improve the health of your family members, especially children and elderly people.
4. Use Dryer Balls
Change out your fabric softening and anti-static dryer sheets for plastic dryer balls. They fluff clothing in the dryer, remove static and don’t add any chemicals to the process. The best part is that they produce no waste afterwards. They work like a charm and are readily available.
5. Stop Using Disposable Products
Make a commitment to avoid the use of disposable cleaning products, namely paper towels, paper napkins, disposable cleaning cloths and mops, and disposable toilet bowl brushes. So much waste goes into the landfills, unnecessarily. Imagine what we could do if we didn’t use paper towels when cleaning? As the owner of a professional cleaning service, I have discovered paper towel leaves lint everywhere and does not have the same cleaning power that a microfiber clothdoes. Microfiber is incredibly durable, can be washed hundreds of times, and can clean to a lint-free finish. Instead of using paper napkins for spills at dinner, pick up lovely linens and launder them as needed. Laundering has less impact on the environment than paper napkins. Think about it: You already have to clean other linens and cloths; this is just one more thing to add to the load.
Have a wonderful year and make a commitment to yourself to live greener and cleaner this year.
This article was originally published on www.NaturallySavvy.com.
*Image of “cleaning” via Shutterstock